Archive for the ‘Miscellaneous’ Category

Churchill on the passive

February 21, 2017

I just read a book of quotes by Winston Churchill and came across this great quote on the passive. It is rather famous and well-known, I gather, but because of my periodic preoccupation with all things writing, and because this blog partly substitutes for my thought archive, (and because it is fun) I post it here:

What if I had said, instead of “We shall fight on the beaches”, “Hostilities will be engaged with our adversary on the coastal perimeter”?

– Winston S. Churchill


Great LaTeX Poster Template

November 27, 2012

Following up on my latest post on the Reconhub, I would like to draw attention to the great LaTeX poster template I came across. While it as always with LaTeX requires some start-up costs, it produces great posters. I was very happy with the poster below, which I prepared for a fisheries symposium in Nantes, France. In particular, I was happy with the way I could control the color scheme and harmonize it with the graded background colors. Also the relative placing of the boxes was easy to use. (Only thing was that I obviously chose the wrong format. I never did a poster before, and thought A1 would be large enough, but I had the smallest poster, everyone else had A0 or thereabouts. And of coures, you can fit in quite a bit more on an A0-poster. Luck had it I was given the opportunity to give an oral presentation at the symposium instead.) Go to Brian Amberg’s page for more examples, and for the template files of course.

A couple of ideas for a poster: Use images with invinsible background, like my NHH logo. It does not look pretty with a white frame around it unless you have a plain, white background (which is boring). I wanted to have my fishes (the foodweb illustration in the poster below) without background, but did not have the skills or software to do that. I also thought putting up a QR-code was a neat idea. It links directly to my academic profile. After I put it there, I found out that if the poster is put somewhere without coverage, the QR-code is rather useless. I should also have checked whether the page it links to is readable in compact (mobile) format and works on most platforms. (But who has an iThing, a blackberry, and an Android phone handy, all at once, when you need it?) There are a couple more things to be aware of when using QR-codes, be sure to google it. I messed around with the font size a bit, not sure I found the optimal combination of text, air, and other content. Here, I found it a bit difficult to control box sizes and stuff. If a text is too large for a given box, the box either expands or goes outside the box, depending on how you are setting it up. Takes some time to get the hang of. But, I strongly recommend the LaTeX Poster Template, I am sure it makes much nicer posters than for example PowerPoint.

Kvamsdal Poster 2012

My Erdös Number

January 31, 2011

A friend e-mailed me his Erdös number,* which was 7 but turned out to be 5 (given that discussion papers counts). My number is 7 without discussion papers (Erdös -> Davies -> Schuss -> Mangel -> Plant -> McKelvey -> Sandal -> Me) or 5 with discussion papers (Erdös -> Linial -> Katznelson -> Radner -> Groves -> Me). You can find your own number on The Erdös Number Project page.

* From The Erdös Number Project: Paul Erdös (1913–1996), the widely-traveled and incredibly prolific Hungarian mathematician of the highest caliber, wrote hundreds of mathematical research papers in many different areas, many in collaboration with others. […] Erdös’s Erdös number is 0. Erdös’s coauthors have Erdös number 1. People other than Erdös who have written a joint paper with someone with Erdös number 1 but not with Erdös have Erdös number 2, and so on. If there is no chain of coauthorships connecting someone with Erdös, then that person’s Erdös number is said to be infinite.

Bizarro: Environmental tragedy

December 14, 2010

Don’t have much time for blogging these days, but I always have some time for comics!

Screen Dump

December 10, 2010

Sometimes even relatively mundane tasks can appear fancy:

Quote of the Day

November 3, 2010

It is just as foolish to complain that people are selfish and treacherous as it is to complain that the magnetic field does not increase unless the electric field has a curl.
– John von Neumann (1903-1957)

Picture of the Day: Rocket Science

September 22, 2010

Today’s picture is a tounge-in-cheek response to John Whitehead’s picture over at Env-Econ:

Useful CV-setup for LaTeX

August 19, 2010

A while ago, obvioiusly while going over my CV, I discovered this very useful LaTeX template for CV’s. It’s extremely simple to use, just download the tex-file, edit it with your information, and pdflatex it. There are a couple of templates for CV’s floating around, but this is the best I’ve seen so far. (And yes, I use it myself.) Enjoy!

Related posts:

Picture of the Day

May 19, 2010

Fancy Keynote Beamer Theme

April 9, 2010

Those using the Beamer package in LaTeX to generate slideshows are perhaps interested in a theme which mimics the classic Keynote style. I’ve used Beamer for years and got bored with the old Madrid theme I was using (which looks really great, I just wanted something new). I’ve used the Lankton-Keynote theme a couple of times and like it a lot.  I had some trouble setting up the footer to count slides and such, so I’ve used the theme without the bar at the bottom. It’s a bit unfortunate without the bar sometimes, however, but then I don’t like the way it looks, either. (Something to thing about before my WCERE 2010 presentation!)

With the Lankton-Keynote theme, my slides look like this:

Pretty fancy, or what?

UPDATE: I realized I have customized the Lankton-Beamer theme slightly. I took out the package ‘beamerthemesplit’ to get a cleaner look (no frames around title and headings). I also found a way to add slidenumbers, just add the following command to the preamble:

\setbeamertemplate{footline}[frame number]

It simply gives the slidenumber and the total in the bottom left corner. I tried to add more fancy stuff (authors, short title) to the footer, but it became a mess.

UPDATE 2: Here’s how it looks with slidenumbers and a logo:

Related post:

Stats: A Steady Trend

October 29, 2009


Hollidays are bad for blog stats.

Recently Visited Posts

October 13, 2009

I’ve added a new ‘widget’ to the right hand bar of the blog: Recently Visited Posts. It shows the posts visited the last 24 to 48 hours. Thus, it is possible to see what other people find interesting on Kvams. Most of the time, I guess, it will be filled up with the posts which attracts the occasional surfer or googler. Other times, it will be painfully clear that I really don’t have a lot of readers.

LaTeX Bibliography Trouble

October 12, 2009

LaTeXLaTeX is perhaps the best way to typeset your books and academic works; I use it whenever I can. When it comes to formatting the reference list according to different styles, however, I’ve had lots of trouble. Late, last night, I think I found the solution. It’s called makebst.tex and allows you to define your own bibliography style. I learned of it on, which explains how it works in great detail. Check it out, it’s really useful.

Ideally, each journal which accept submissions in TeX- or LaTeX-format should set up their own bib-style file and distribute it on their web-page. It would make everyone’s life much easier.

My only worry now is that the journal I’m preparing my manuscript for don’t accept custom bibliography style files! That would be something.

Innarresting Links

September 17, 2009

Various interesting stuff:

The Net Gets Clouded

June 9, 2009

Last week, The Economist printed a leader on ‘cloud computing’ and some issues related to it. First, explaining ‘cloud computing’:

“Cloud computing”—the delivery of computer services from vast warehouses of shared machines—enables companies and individuals to cut costs by handing over the running of their e-mail, customer databases or accounting software to someone else, and then accessing it over the internet.

Cloud computing is a threat to the new-won openness from licenced software:

At the time, selling software to large companies was sometimes likened to drug dealing, because once a firm installed a piece of software, it had to pay a stream of licence fees for upgrades, security patches and technical support. Switching to a rival product was difficult and expensive. But with open-source software there was much less of a lock-in.

‘Cloud computing’ also threats to lock-in:

But customers risk losing control once again, in particular over their data, as they migrate into the cloud. Moving from one service provider to another could be even more difficult than switching between software packages in the old days. For a foretaste of this problem, try moving your MySpace profile to Facebook without manually retyping everything.

Luckily, I don’t have a profile with neither. I wonder what Weinberger has to say about this. (Not very much, it seems, but on his blog Everything is Miscellaneous he reports from a seminar on cloud computing; I couldn’t get the permanent link to work, but the entry comes up first if you search his blog for cloud computing).